What is a Retirement Income Planning Professional and Why You Want to Be One

America’s baby boomers, which are, incidentally, the largest age group in the country, want to retire, and they want to retire well. So it comes as no surprise the American College of Financial Services introduced the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP) designation last year.

The RICP designation already has 250 graduates, with another 3,000 currently enrolled. These numbers simply make sense, as recent statistics show that about 10,000 baby boomers retire every day. And, although most financial planners have a good deal of knowledge in teaching clients how to accumulate wealth for retirement, not many understand how to spend their wealth. In other words, baby boomers want to know how to turn their accumulated assets into retirement income.

The retirement phase, or the “spend down” phase (the opposite of retirement income planning, which concentrates on accumulation up until retirement), is an important part of a baby boomer’s retirement, says most financial planners. A recent study found that 94 percent of financial planners believe this stage of retirement planning needs to be studied more by financial planning professionals.

Many baby boomers entering into retirement seek the services and advise of qualified financial planners, who can help them address how they are going to spend their assets once in retirement. Specifically, these clients are seeking advice on how to spend their retirement money so they don’t run out of money at the end of their life.

Just a few of the questions retirees ask RICP-certified professionals include:

  • When should I begin drawing from my Social Security retirement benefits?
  • What areas should I start drawing money from (401K, Roth IRA, etc.)?
  • Where should I live?
  • How should I finance my healthcare?

About the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP)

The RICP designation is designed for financial planners already working in the field of retirement income planning and for those with a general background in financial services. There are no prerequisite courses for obtaining the RICP designation.

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Individuals must complete the following courses to achieve the RICP credential:

  • Retirement Income Process, Strategies and Solutions
  • Sources of Retirement Income
  • Managing the Retirement Income Plan